stop sign
Understanding your male’s reactions are critical to safe play.

Safewords are used to give the bottom (caged male) an emergency switch to immediately stop what is happening. For example, if during a spanking the bottom suddenly gets a chest pain, he can use the safeword to immediately stop the spanking, get released from bondage, and get help. The intention is recognition that the bottom must have some control to prevent injury; physical or psychological. Safewords also give the top some comfort in knowing that the bottom can scream, shout “No!” and make other protests without causing the top to have to analyze whether these complaints are real or part of the bottom’s enjoyment of the experience. Obviously, if the bottom uses the safeword, the top must immediately stop the action and aid the bottom.

Unfortunately, safewords aren’t enough. In three decades of topping and dungeon monitoring I have never had a bottom use a safeword. In that same time I have stopped many scenes because the bottom was clearly in distress. Why didn’t the bottom safeword? There are several reasons why the safeword isn’t reliable.

The main problem is what some people call “sub space”. This is a condition that bottoms, runners, athletes, and others who endure physical stress experience. As part of the “fight or flight” reflexes all humans have, endorphins, a brain harmone, is released when the body feels this stress. Endorphins mask pain and create a pleasant kind of euphoria. This is sub space. For some it’s addictive. If during play the stimulation is slowly increased, endorphin production will keep pace and the bottom will enjoy the stimulation. That’s why “warm up” is generally practiced; gently spanking or otherwise stimulating the bottom to build endorphins that will allow the bottom to take more later.

As a keyholder top, you need to be aware of this endorphin process. Since your caged male will be unable to accurately report any possible injury or stress, you need to understand the signs so you can control your stimulation and know when you might need to stop. Here is a list of things to do and observe that will help you keep your play safe:

  • If you use bondage, every few minutes feel the bottom’s hands and feet. If they are cold, circulation may be cut off.  Also note the color. If the hands or feet look a bit blue, that also can signal circulation problems. This can happen even with loose bondage. Thrashing and pulling on the bonds can cut off circulation. Feel the hands and feet immediately after you restrain them. That will give you a baseline. If later they feel colder, it’s time to stop for a bit and assure that circulation is ok.
  • Sweating is often a sign of stress. Assuming the room isn’t too hot, if your bottom starts to sweat, it may mean that he is feeling physical stress. Frequently the sweat will appear on the back and under the arms. Sometimes it will have an unpleasant smell. If this happens, you may not need to stop, but you should be much more sensitive to other signs. Reducing the level of stimulation for a bit can help too.
  • Heavy breathing is also a sign of stress. Panting is frequently a sign of stress. Ask the male if he is ok. If he can answer in a way that indicates he is aware of what is going on, you can trust his reply. If he sounds sleepy or incoherent, it means that he is on an endorphin trip and his answers can not be trusted.

Many bottoms consider an endorphin high as the main reason they like a top to stimulate them painfully. People do not react the same way to endorphins. I had a friend who would fall asleep almost immediately after getting spanked or flogged. He was unresponsive for a half hour or so and just needed to be covered and allowed to sleep it off. I don’t slip very far into sub space. I can actually enjoy spanking or flogging. What hurt horribly in the beginning starts to feel good. At that point I would never use a safeword. I am having fun.

As a top, you need to decide what you want your caged male to experience. If you want to spank him and make him feel every swat, then start hard and fast and increase stimulation before his endorphins can catch up. He will hate that. Of course, that is the objective of punishment. If you are playing, then start softly and build slowly. It takes me about ten or fifteen minutes before my endorphin level is high enough for me to enjoy hard swats. Also, if you use a paddle, the sensation is more sting. Sting isn’t well masked by endorphins. A flogger or a heavy strap is more “thud” and stimulates endorphin production more quickly. Ever wonder why some people like to be punctured with needles? For some, just one needle stick will induce an endorphin high.

What about bruises? Most males will bruise at one time or another. They are not a danger sign in and of themselves. In fact, well placed bruises on the lower half of the butt will provide a lasting reminder of your spanking every time he sits. One important rule is never hit a bruise. Even if you have to stop your activities, you must avoid re injuring a bruised spot. Another no-no is to hit an area that doesn’t have good padding; muscle or fat. Spanking the penis also has a few rules too. The erectile tissue (the shaft) should never be hit when he is hard. That tissue is very easy to damage. However, the penis head is fair game at any time. It also has the benefit of being very sensitive so it won’t take much effort to get a big reaction. Balls may be spanked too. Avoid heavy hitting objects. You need to protect the testes (balls) from deep injury. They are tough but need care when stimulated. His reaction will be a good sign. If he gets nauseous that is a sign you may be hitting too hard. Take your time and learn how he reacts. By the way, most males react much more to penis spanking than butt swats. It is an area no man expects to be spanked.

Most important is to start gently and observe your caged male’s reactions to stimulation. Take your time. Safe play depends on understanding your male and the way he reacts to various stimuli If you can, see if there are workshops in your area conducted by local leather organizations on spanking and other topping and bottoming topics. Seeing a demo and talking with experienced people is a great way to learn. Most important, have fun!.

In Lion’s post today he says that in order to sustain our power exchange I need to find value in it. The only value I see so far is that it makes him happy. Why can’t that be good enough right now?

I spent the day busy at work and, as we often do, we started out texting and then emailing back and forth. I had already started my post for yesterday before I read Lion’s. I told him I thought it was funny that we took away different things from the same play session. He asked if his post was wrong. It’s his point of view; his version of events, if you will. My point of view, my version, was different. Does that make either one of us wrong? No. Different sides of the same coin. It might be boring if we both had the same point of view.

Then he asked if I had fun during our last spanking session. I know he did. But I told him it wasn’t fun for me. It was work. He immediately apologized. I was confused. Hadn’t he said in a previous post that being a top was work and you don’t necessarily get a high like the bottom does? He said yes, but he also had gotten sex out of the deal. I should be getting something out of the deal, too. It may have been a training session for Lion, learning how to stay still while I whomp his tush, but it was a training session for me too. It’s hard work to learn how to encourage him the way he needs to be encouraged. And then I felt pressure because I figured he was getting upset that he’s making me do something I don’t want to do.

You’ve probably seen that sign that says, “I can only please one person at a time. Today isn’t your day and tomorrow isn’t looking too good either.” Well my person to please is Lion. I do love him more than anything and I usually do put his needs before my own. It drives him crazy. Since I’ve caged him I’ve learned a lot. Some things I thought I was doing right and it turns out I wasn’t. Some things I’m doing too much. Other things I’m doing too little. There’s been a lot of turmoil in the past few months. You don’t automatically start out as a black belt in karate. You have to work your way up. Right now I’m still on my clear belt. I haven’t even earned the white yet. (I know there isn’t really a clear belt.) Sure there are days I wonder what’s in it for me. I wonder that about work too. But for right now, I’m happy making Lion happy. That’s good enough. And good enough is good enough.

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It seems that the longer the wait between orgasms, the more interested in initiating pleasure for Mrs. Lion I become.

If you’ve been reading along, you know that Mrs. Lion and I have very different views of how my forced chastity is working. She has accepted that this is something I want and has worked hard to integrate it into our lives. I have been trying to awaken her dormant libido with some success. We read what the other posts and, combined with conversations, have opened a great communication channel that is improving our sex lives. Both of us believe the cage is an important part of this new trend. We agree up to that point.

Based on my reading of her posts, Mrs. Lion is pursuing my chastity and training out of love for me and her desire to make me happy. These are wonderful, unselfish reasons. But are they sustainable over a long period of time? After all, this is a power exchange; not a power gift. Mrs. Lion must feel she is getting value for her efforts and time spent in my care and training. By that I don’t mean a direct exchange of say, 25 lioness orgasms for every one for me. I won’t rule that out. Such deals are very potent incentives. But I don’t think that she would find such an arrangement satisfying.

Unless both of us find value in forced chastity, one of us will eventually give it up. Even if we don’t just end it, the energy will get lower and lower. This is no one’s fault. It’s just human nature that we place our energy where we get the most return. This is one reason why so many relationships that were formed based on a power exchange end up petering out in a year or two. Fortunately, my relationship with Mrs. Lion is based on much, much more. But how do we sustain our forced chastity lifestyle?

I don’t know the answer to this. I think both of us have to consider what value this lifestyle can deliver. In my case, the answer is obvious. There are well over 100 posts that address one aspect or another of my take on living this way. Mrs. Lion has a much more difficult job. I don’t know what she will find that connects her to forced chastity. One possibility for her might be my increased incentive to initiate pleasuring her. It’s ironic that one of my motives for asking to be locked up was that I wanted her to initiate sex since it has always been very difficult for me. It turns out that the opposite is true.

Up till now, Mrs. Lion hasn’t connected her pleasure to my opportunities to orgasm. She is such a giving, generous person, I don’t think such an idea would occur to her. Couple that with her lowered level of sexual interest and I can see how such an idea might be unappealing. However, based on her comments to me and her posts, she is experiencing more sexual interest. I don’t think she will ever consider a direct tit-for-tat exchange of her orgasms for mine, but she might find that by making me wait longer to orgasm, I might decide I could help my case by initiating more sex with her. Based on what other caged males have said and written, the male’s interest in giving his keyholder more orgasms is almost an automatic side effect of longer waits between orgasms.

Initially I didn’t believe this would really happen to me. I still don’t know. But I am beginning to understand how I could find myself initiating more. Based on what I have heard and read, the increased need to come that is created by teasing and keeping the male unsatisfied, drives him to find what sexual expression he can. I love giving Mrs. Lion orgasms. I can see myself substituting her orgasms for mine as I am prevented from coming. That’s the real irony; the less orgasms I get the more aggressively I want to provide them for her. My motive isn’t a desire to convince her to get me off. It’s my libido substituting her orgasms for mine. At least that’s my theory. Since Mrs. Lion has long wanted me to initiate more, she might find keeping me caged as an effective and fun way to get me to do that. What do you think?

I don’t know why it amazes me that Lion and I have such different reactions to the same thing. We are an almost perfect example of opposites attracting. And, by reading our posts, you can certainly see that. My second attempt at encouraging him during spanking is no exception.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t usually plan out a play session. I have no idea how long I’m going to spank Lion. Although I take out several things to spank him with, I don’t know if I’ll use them all, or in what order. So when he says he likes to be encouraged by my letting him know that he only has a little longer to go or how many swats are left, I find it difficult. It wasn’t as awkward as I thought it would be to actually encourage him. It didn’t sound stupid coming out of my mouth. But it was difficult planning ahead to tell him how he was doing.

I’m very glad he had a good time. I had no idea he was so into it. He did squirm a few times while he adjusted himself. I didn’t know it was because he was that hard. You could have fooled me that he doesn’t get hard from every spanking. I think his cock gives him away more often than he realizes.

I’ll have to keep working on the encouragement. Obviously he likes it. I’m sure I’ll get better at it. And I might even get more comfortable. It will just take some time.

[Encouragement doesn’t require saying “only x more swats”. Mrs. Lion did a great job of leaving things open-ended. She said, “Now you will get three hard swats to each cheek”. That helped me prepare without any promise of when she finishes. I think my lioness is much better at this than she thinks. – Lion]